Chapter 32:

Don't go.

The Day I Forgot About You

Neo picked up the device and closely examined it, searching for a way to turn it on. 

"It only works when you're asleep, I've already told you," explained Carolina. 

"I'm feeling a bit sleepy right now, could I sleep and use it?" Neo asked. 

Carolina smiled with happiness knowing she would finally see the Dreamcapture in action.

She led Neo to a separate room, opened the door, and turned on the light. Neo saw a bed with a pink blanket and a pillow. In the corner, there was a table with a computer and a keyboard. The room was simple compared to where he had been before. 

She placed the equipment on her brother's head and laid him on the bed.

"Don't worry, I usually don't use this bed for sleeping. I often end up falling asleep while working."

"Everything makes sense now," he thought. 

Carolina left the room and turned off the light.

"I'll be working meanwhile. Let me know when you wake up," she said as she closed the door.

It was difficult to sleep with that thing on his head, but he was genuinely sleepy, likely due to the physical effort he had exerted that day, so he eventually fell asleep.

When he woke up, he didn't remember dreaming anything. Disappointed, he got up and went to Carolina, who was working on something with loud music playing while she soldered two pieces of metal.

"Sorry, sis. I don't think I dreamed anything," Neo said.

Carolina was pleased to see her brother awake. She turned off the music, took the object from his hands, and checked his memories.

"Actually, it did record something. We have many dreams when we sleep, but we only remember a few when we wake up," Carolina explained.

"So, how do we see them?" Neo asked, curious.

"I take this chip here and we plug it into the computer. It saves the dreams as different video files."

They returned to the room, and Carolina inserted the chip into the computer. There were at least fourteen different videos.

The first dream showed Neo waking up in a park, but he wasn't a person; he was a cat. He hunted birds but didn't catch any, so he decided to steal snacks from a lady who left them by the window.

As they watched increasingly bizarre and some more normal dreams, Carolina became interested in one in particular.

It began in a field of sunflowers, the sky was blue with a few white clouds, and a girl dressed in white stood among the flowers. Neo approached slowly. She turned to him, her blonde hair flew and shimmered in the sun, her deep blue eyes met his. She ran toward him with a smile, a beautiful smile. She jumped into his arms, and they spun around. Just as they were about to kiss, Neo stopped the video, leaving Carolina curious.

"Who's this girl?" she asked teasingly.

"No one," Neo replied, trying to hide his embarrassment.

"Hmm. No one?" She moved closer, searching his face for answers.

"No one!" Neo protested.

She smiled, knowing that this girl meant something to her brother.

"So, does that mean I have a sister-in-law?"

"No! Stop it. Let's keep watching the other dreams."

Several more dreams played on the screen, and Neo grew impatient. There seemed to be no sign of what he was truly looking for.

During the last dream, he was in an unfamiliar room, putting on a white coat. When he finished getting ready, he left the house. It was nighttime.

On his way, he met Carolina. She had her hair down and wasn't wearing glasses, she was dressed in the Futura uniform. His brother appeared shortly after, wearing a colorful shirt and jeans.

"Look, sis, there you are. And Leo too," Neo said, pointing to the screen. But his sister's smile had vanished, her eyes expressing some fear.

They continued walking, and Neo glanced at a sign and saw the address. The building had a lion symbol on the outside. Neo knew it had to be the same place from his previous nightmares.

Just as the group of siblings was about to enter, Carolina stopped the recording, her hand trembling. "Don't watch anymore."

Neo was annoyed by the sudden pause and tried to click to continue. "I want to see."

She stopped him and grew increasingly desperate. "No! You can't."

Neo stared into her eyes, determined to continue the recording. "I need to know."

She yanked the chip connected to the computer and ran off. Her brother followed her through the lab. She threw things to delay him, but it was futile. He eventually caught up to her. She went to a corner of the room, crouched down, and hugged the chip.

Seeing his defenseless sister on the floor, trembling and in tears, he realized he couldn't push any further. There had to be another way to resolve this. "Alright, then I'll go there. I'll find out for myself."

He left the room and headed toward the exit. He found a panel on the closed door, and since he knew the password, it was easy to open. 

Carolina was still trembling in the corner, shaken by her memories. When she heard the door open, she connected the dots with what Neo had said earlier.

"No!" she cried out in despair as she hurried to her feet. Neo was already halfway to the exit when she reached him. She gripped his hand with all the strength she had, which wasn't much, trembling all the while.

He tried to keep walking, but the weight she was putting on him made it difficult. "Carolina, let go. Please. I have to go, I have to know the truth."

She didn't say anything, just continued to hold on and try to stop him. Eventually, he managed to release his hand from her grasp, which wasn't difficult, and he ran off. Carolina reached out to grab him again, but she couldn't. She sobbed, "Please, Neo, don't go!" as she fell to the ground. "Please."

Neo didn't look back. He was certain that if he saw his once lively and happy sister crying, he wouldn't be able to take another step. 

The last thing Carolina saw was her brother's back as he walked through the door and out into the starlit night.

"Don't go."

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